Former Massachusetts resident to plead guilty to $2.5 million in PPP loan fraud

A man who lived in Massachusetts has agreed to plead guilty to filing fraudulent claims to receive $2.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through the Paycheck Protection Program, federal prosecutors say. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 34-year-old Vinicius Santana, of Boca Raton, Fla., has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of illegal money transactions. The former Revere resident had previously been arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with one-wire fraud offense in June 2022. According to the charging document, Santana owned the Massachusetts paint company Complete Home Care, LLC and submitted four different PPP loan applications on behalf of the company. in April 2020. Prosecutors said Santana listed five employees and an average monthly payroll of between $10,000 and $18,000 on his first three requests, and each of them was denied. Santana then falsely claimed to have 154 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1 million in the fourth PPP application for his company, prosecutors say. A bank then gave Santana’s company a $2.5 million loan in May 2020 based on the allegedly false information from the fourth request. Prosecutors say Santana misused PPP loan proceeds by buying real estate and cars, as well as investing in cryptocurrency. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the federal district court has not yet scheduled a plea hearing for Santana. The wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss of the scheme, whichever is greater. The illegal monetary transactions charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or double the value of the criminal property. The PPP loan funds were made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), a federal law enacted in March 2020 that aims to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of suffering Americans. economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of repayable loans to small businesses for the maintenance of employment and certain approved expenses, through the PPP.

A man who lived in Massachusetts has agreed to plead guilty to filing fraudulent claims to receive $2.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through the Paycheck Protection Program, federal prosecutors say.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Vinicius Santana, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of illegal currency transactions. The former Revere resident had previously been arrested and charged with a criminal complaint for the single wire fraud offense in June 2022.

According to the billing document, Santana owned Massachusetts paint company Complete Home Care, LLC and submitted four different PPP loan applications on behalf of the company in April 2020.

Prosecutors said Santana listed five employees and an average monthly payroll of between $10,000 and $18,000 on his first three requests, and each one was denied.

Santana then falsely claimed to have 154 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1 million in the fourth P3 application for his company, prosecutors say. A bank then gave Santana’s company a $2.5 million loan in May 2020 based on the allegedly false information from the fourth request.

Prosecutors say Santana misused PPP loan proceeds by buying real estate and cars, as well as investing in cryptocurrency.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the federal district court has not yet scheduled a plea hearing for Santana.

The wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss of the scheme, whichever is greater . The charge of illegal monetary transactions carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of $250,000 or double the value of the criminal property.

The PPP loan funds were made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal law enacted in March 2020 that aims to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of suffering Americans. economic effects caused by the covid19 pandemic. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of repayable loans to small businesses for the maintenance of employment and certain approved expenses, through the PPP.

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